New York Passes Law Punishing Scalpers with Fines, Jail Time for Using Ticket Bots
It may get a little easier to order concert tickets online in 2017.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a new law that seeks to "combat unfair and illegal ticket purchasing and reselling practices" by incurring steeper penalties for resellers who rely on software — referred to as "ticket bots" — to circumvent individual purchase limits and buy up passes to in-demand events, then reselling them at a markup through aftermarket ticket broker services.
It's an aggravating experience familiar to anyone who's ever tried buying a ticket to a major live event, and one that a number of lawmakers have threatened or attempted to curb. The law Cuomo signed, touted as "the strongest ‘anti-bot’ legislation in the nation" in his office's press release, threatens "substantial fines and imprisonment" for anyone who directly violates it — or even resells tickets "knowingly obtained" through bots.
"These unscrupulous speculators and their underhanded tactics have manipulated the marketplace and often leave New Yorkers and visitors alike with little choice but to buy tickets on the secondary market at an exorbitant mark-up," said Cuomo. "It’s predatory, it’s wrong and, with this legislation, we are taking an important step towards restoring fairness and equity back to this multi-billion dollar industry. I thank Attorney General Schneiderman and the sponsors of this legislation for their diligence and hard work to pass this much-needed measure."
Noting that the effort to get the new law on the books included support from Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman decried the way it's "become almost impossible" to land tickets to top-tier shows without paying exorbitant markups, and applauded the state taking a step toward "finally bringing sanity — and fairness — to the ticket buying process."
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